Think Beautifully Everyday Rotating Header Image

Sephora

Bare it all!

Hi!  Long time no see.  The last 6-8 months has been a roller coaster of emotions, crazy, and all out nutty things.  But I’m going to do my level best to keep you informed on my favorite products at least a couple of times a month!  Thanks for being my loyal fans and keep thinking beautifully!

bareMinerals - Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation
BareMinerals BareSkin Serum oundation launched on QVC earlier this spring, with a limited color selection and a fabulous new brush.

BareMinerals says:
A breakthrough tone-correcting mineral foundation and skincare serum in one.   Created with exceptional purity in mind, this ultrathin, skin-perfecting fluid provides seamless adjustable coverage, a natural finish and the look and feel of beautiful skin while delivering a noticeably brighter, more youthful appearance. Made with the bare minimum ingredients and formulated without water, oil, silicone, parabens or fragrance. It’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before. 

When I first bought this product, I wasn’t so sure if I would like it.  I am not the biggest fan of the original BE foundation (I know, blasphamy!) but I adore almost everything else they made.  But a liquid?  Wow!  I prefer a liquid foundation, simply because I find powders for the most part settle in my skin and accentuate my wrinkles and odd spots – something that I”d like to avoid.

But so many liquid foundations are thick, and not so special  This is different.  After using this foundation for a week, my skin actually feels smoother, silkier and just plain better.  They really mean serum when they say serum!

When it comes out of the bottle, it really doesn’t look like much.  It’s thin, and is almost waterlike.  You have to shake up the Bare Skin Serum foundation bottle really well to ensure that the color pigment mixes with the elixir ingredients.  Lightweight, ultrathin liquid that glides on like silk, I find it gives you light to medium coverage – but it’s very buildable.  The best part about it, is that you use such a tiny amount ot achive this goal.  Two drops for each side of your face, maybe one more drop for the forehead & chin.  This bottle will last you forever!

One of my favorite things about this producft is that I did not wear primer with it.  I first tried it with my favorite primer, but I found that I can skip this step and I don’t miss it.  I do however recommend that if you have oily skin that you use an oil control product on your trouble spots (for me it’s my nose) to help control any shine through.  I also used a pressed powder to touch up during the day, but you could easily use mineral veil.  This was just to blot my oily spots (also love the Mally Poreless Defender).  I put this on at 8am, and it looked amazing at 9:30pm when I got home!

10247227_720144684673073_1769407102183462908_n

The new brush is very similar to the Tarte Colored Clay foundation (review next) except for one key difference:  This densely packed small angled brush has a small well in the middle of it.  That’s where you put the foundation, which sinks in to the bristles of the brush.  This is important because it helps you to distribute the foundation evenly.

Bottom line?  LOVE THIS!  QVC has a limited shade selection of the Bare Skin Serum Foundation right now, but Sephora & BE boutiques launch on May 1st with the full color selection.  I currently have Bare Linen, which is a bout half a shade too light for me, but as summer comes, I will probably move to Nude or a similar shade.  I hightly recommend you visit a counter to color match, as it’s tricky to do a side by side with your current BE foundation.

Rating:  A-

Loves:  Skin treatment, with soothing bontanicals and skin brightening ingredients.  My skin feels BETTER after wearing this foundation; and it’s the only change I’ve made in my treatment.  Smoother, silkier, and clearer.  Buildable coverage that you can layer with your favorite concealer or primer.

Check it out!

Google

I’m a good witch!

Hello gorgeous!  How do I love thee, let me count the ways…

I just got my precious Urban Decay Oz palettes, and I was so excited to play!  The Glinda pallete, sweet, light and playful good witch, is filled with ethereal violets, iridescent pinks, and gold tons that are sure to set your eyes a glow.

This set, one of two in the series, contains 6 shades meant to invoke the innocence of the white witch, as well as a mini Rockstar eyeliner, and a High Gloss lipcolor in Glinda (a light sheer nude).

The great thing about this palettes is that the packaging is sturdy, in a metal container that snaps shut.  Made with Urban Decay’s Build Your Own palette format, you can swap out colors until you get the perfect set for you.  You can also refill them as you use them up with any of the build your own singles.  Love!

This limited edition collectible set has eight all new and exclusive eye shadows in six pans (there are two split pans).  Every shade features Urban Decay’s Pigment Infusion System™, the proprietary blend of ingredients that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich color, serious staying power, and blendability. 
This set contains the following eyeshadows:

  • Tornado (vibrant deep purple shimmer)
  • Aura (iridescent white with blue shift and iridescent white with red shift)
  • Magic (pinkish purple with golden shimmer)
  • Illusion (pale peach satin)
  • Oz (gold with gold glitter and silver with silver glitter)
  • South (warm pale gray shimmer with silver micro-glitter)

I must say, I love it!  What do you think?

Available at Sephora and Urbandecay.com for $49

 

Winterize your skin!

Over the past two years, I have worked very hard to regulate my skin . I’ve had some issues to be sure, including flaky patches, sensative red skin, bumps and you name.  So, finding a skin care routine that actually works for me was crucial.

I recently switched to my winter moisturizer, but wasn’t happy with the way the Miracle Worker from Philosophy was working any more.  It had been great for a while, but just got to be too much.  Mind you, I love that product, but your skin is alive, so your needs changed.

Enter Algenist.  Algenist is a skincare brand that actually was created by happenstane, when a biotech company was researching alternative energy sources here in my hometown of San Francisco.  Mysteriously, the workers who were working iwth the algae that was the source, had hands that looked 20 yeras younger than the rest of them!  What was this amazing thing?

Enter Alguronic Acid.  This miracle ingredient has shown amazing promise in cell regeneration.  The natural process of shedding old damaged cells so that you can grow new, healthy skin cells is no mystery.  However, Alguronic acid showed the ability to stimulate this regrowth by 55%.  This puts them well ahead of both Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid, which are very powerful and until now, the most advanced anti aging ingredient on the market.  The promotion of these new, healthy skin cells is paramount to anti aging.

Enter my new favorite moisturizer!  The Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer promises to restore skin moisture, rebuild firmness, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and regenerate your skin.  The Alguronic acid works in conjunction with Vitamin C, to boost radiance, increase cell regeneration, and give you a more youthful appearance.

Well!  That might be a tall order, but I am here to tell you, I love this product.  First of all, there are no parabens, sulfates, phtalates or any other ickies.  Next, it really does what it says it will do.

My skin in the winter becomes the Sahara desert.  I am contantly combatting dry flaky cheeks and dull tired looking skin.  When I first started using this, I figured, ok I’ll give it a shot.  But within a week, my skin looked brighter, was absolutely moisturized, and the crinklies were less noticeable.  I love the way it makes my face look!  It’s smoother, balanced and just looks better.  At 40, I need all the help I can get!

At $90 for 2oz, it’s pricy, but I am happy to spend more money on something that works.

Have you tried Algenist?  What products do you like?

Are you Ready for READY foundation?

Bare Minerals Ready FoundationAre you Ready?  I know I was.  I love my foundation.  I especially love a solid foundation, that I can tuck in my bag and carry with me for quick touch ups or post office makeup-ing.  So, when Bare Escentuals came out with a pressed version of their mineral foundation, I was ready to check it out and jump on it.

The Bare Minerals READY SPF Foundation promises a natural, long wearing formula that beautifully covers everything but feels like nothing is on.  It also claims to keep skin smooth, fresh, and younger looking.

This solid mineral technology claims to have invisible long wearing coverage.  Interestingly, it runs very light.  In loose, I wear Golden Fair or Fairly Medium.  In Ready, the best match was Medium Beige, which is a tinge too dark so I need to apply it carefully.

One important thing about Ready Foundation is you really need to apply it sparingly.  You cannot buff this foundation on, or sweep heavy layers.  My first experience with the Ready foundation was after a a makeunder event.  While I loved the coverage when I looked in the mirror, I quickly noticed that it both looked cakey and tended to pool in the crinkled of my nose.  This concerned me, as I have an oily t-zone that I need to cover.

I have found the best way to apply this was with an Everyday Minerals mini kabuki brush.  This is a fairly fluffy brush, that is not so densely packed with bristles.  What works best is to tap the brush in the foundation, and sweep it over my face, repeating as necessary.  Using the flat-topped IT Cosmetics foundation brush applied too much product and immediately made it look cakey, accentuating my pores, which was the same result when I used the BE Ready Foundation brush.

This technique gave me light to medium coverage,, but it did not stand the test of time.  I look for foundations that absorb the oil on my t-zone, and last all day.  The Ready, while it was a nice finished look in general, lasted only a few hours, and needed to be reapplied.  Reapplying, even sparingly, resulted in build up.  I also noticed that from a distance it tends to accentuate my wrinkles and fine lines.

I do not recommend wearing a primer with this product.  Although I love the Neutralizing Primer, it doesn’t play well with the Ready.  I also wore the new Ready Creamy Concealer underneath the Ready Foundation, and the combination, provided good coverage, however the foundation tended to pool and crinkle near the areas that I used concealer.

I can see this product being great for someone with dry skin, but for my sensitive combo skin, it didn’t do the trick, and it certainly did not last 12 hours.  That said, I am in love with all the other Ready products so don’t let this dissuade you!

Final grade:  B+ There is a learning curve in applying this product, and the color selection should be broader.  I like the overall feeling of the product, but I think it would use a bit of improvement to switch me over.

Ingredients

The Balm is the BOMB!

It isn’t often that I find a new brand where I pretty much like everything.  But, I’m here to tell you, The Balm is one of those brands.

With kitschy (and frankly, catchy) marketing such as The Muppet’s palette, a forthcoming Bon Jovi offering and names like Betty Lou-manizer, the San Francisco based company offers fun, functional makeup for a reasonable price.

Founder Marissa Shipman started The Balm when she was unable to find simple products that she could add to her beauty routine.  As it often is, necessity is the mother of invention, and Marissa headed off to the library – ok fine, Amazon.com, to get some instruction on making her own makeup, and a beautiful idea was born.

Packed full of skin pleasing ingredients and no parabens, these are some colors that pack a punch.  So far, I’ve tried about 5 eye palettes and love each one.  I also have Time Balm, a face primer packed full of natural ingredients which I will review very soon for you lovely ladies.

The eyeshadows are creamy, and highly pigmented.  They have minimal fallout, and stay put.  The high impact pigments of the colors lets you use some double duty as liners, which is a great deal since you can tuck these beautiful palettes in your purse for touch ups and overnights.

The Balm often has great deals online, but you can also find them on Soap.com, DermStore.com, Beauty.com and several retail outlets.  A not so well kept secret is taht if you scour local TJ Maxx and Marshall’s stores, you can often find past season merchandise for bargain basement prices.

Reviews on Time Blam, Nude Tude, and Meet Matte coming soon!

 

It’s the truth!

Here we are, in Mid May.  It’s hard to believe that time has flown so fast!  Winter is waning and Spring and Summer are trying to come out to play. If your’e like me, winter can leave your skin a bit dead and dull, needed a bit of a pick me up.  Or perhaps you always need a little boost for your skin.

In a recent Test Tube, I received a large sample size (.5 oz) of the Ole Hendrickson Truth Serum Collagen Booster.  This vitamin C complex is said to helps smooth out lines and wrinkles and prevents further damage. It’s also loaded with antioxidants to fight off those nasty free radicals that make our skin look not so nice.

Can I just tell you, I love this serum!  It’s actually more like orange juice for your skin.  It’s not heavy like many serums, and absorbs instantly, leaving a bit of a tingly sensation.  I’ve been using this for a week, and while I dont’ have that many wrinkles to release, my skin is bright and soft, and I do notice it looks perkier.

So what’s the big deal about Vitamin C in skin care?  Vitamin C, and specifically L-Ascorbic acid, has been proven to promote the development of collagen.  Collagen production naturally decreases with age, and sun worshippers can also have a decreases in collagen.  Collagen is what gives your skin that bounce, elasticity, and youthful appearance, which is why as you age, you sage, get deep lines, and loose plumpness.

Vitamin C has also been shown to hep reduce lines, scars, and wrinkles.  I personally use maracuja oil on my hands and some small scars.  Maracuja oil is another potent Vitamin C source.  I prefer the Truth Serum for my face as it’s weightless.  The Truth Serum also has green tea extracts, which also help with aging and damage, licorice extract which evens skin tone, and hyaluronic acid which is a super moisturizer.

I highly suggest you check this out!  I will definately be repurchasing when I run out.  you can find it at QVC, Sephora, and better department stores for $48 per one ounce bottle.

Surprise!

Surprise!  Spring is nearly here.  Well, at least I keep pretending it is.  We finally got winter here in Northern California, and it’s cold and rainy.  But here is something to brighten your day beauties!

Tarte will have their next TSV on March 16th.  You can call it an early St. Patrick’s Day present.  In this kit, called Miracle of Maracuja, you will see old favorites and new tricks for your makeup bag.

You get:

  • Maracuja Oil – this is a personal fave.  I use it on my face, but also on my very dry winter skin.  it’ s oozing with Vitamin C so it’s a great anti oxidant and moisturizer.  This is a FULL SIZED product, so you really get the rest of the kit for free!
  • Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara – while this was ousted by the Tarte Gifted Mascara as my holy grail, it’s still very high on my list of faves
  • Maracuja Creseless Waterproof Concealer – yes, we’re still stocked up from the Glow Your Way to Gorgeous kits.  It’s not my favorite for winter, because it’s a bit too dewy, but we’ll see how it holds up in warmer weather
  • Bamboo Blush Brush – this is different than the blush brush that comes with the Amazonian Clay blushes, and it can also be used as a great powder brush.
  • **NEW** Amazonian Clay Beauty in the Box Eyeshadow Quad – One of these boxes is already available at Sephora, and it looks like they are rehashing the Benefit trend.  Jury is still out but I will keep you posted.  This box has Cloud Pink, Silver Mist, Purple Fog, and Dark Ash.
  • **NEW*** Maracuja Lipgloss – we’ve seen these recently in a set on the Q, and this is a color exclusive to the kit.  These glosses match the colors of the cult fave blushes, and this first introduction is Peaceful.
  • **NEW** Cashmere Waterproof Gliding Eyeliner – I’m a fan of the Amazonian Clay liners, so I’m not sure I want a new one, but this is another black liner.  Realy, who can’t have enough black liners?
  • **NEW** Maracuja Airbrush Bouncy Blush – Ok I’m not clear on what the trend in bouncy facial products is, but this is another one, similar to Maybelline Dream Bounce Blush and the new Mally Face Defender Blush.    This is Shimmering Poppy and the color looks beautiful.  THe spring trend is for a POP of color on the cheeks,a n this certainly looks like it will do it.


Single Shipments are available NOW for Insiders, and will be available March16th for everyone else.
The Auto Delivery is available HERE, with kits shipping in July and November with seasonal shades.

I’ve ordered mine and since I just got my big fat payment from Ebates, I upped the shipping so I should get it by Friday.

It’s Glitzy!

Merry Christmas!  Well ok, it’s a tad early for that, but since all of the holiday kits are out in stores, urging you to get dressed up and put on a glam face, I thought I’d join the club.

I have been a holiday beauty kit shopping fiend lately!  At the Sephora  Friends & Family sale last month, I picked up the Bare Escentuals Putting on the Glitz Kit, and I’m happy I did.  This is a lovely kit, very subtle but sparkly and festive.

This kit is a Sephora exclusive, and might remind you a bit of last year’s Shimmer and Shine.  It contains 10 pieces, for $54.  That right there is a deal, but I nabbed it at 20% off, making it less than $5 per piece.

The items include (swatched at right, top to bottom)

  • Prime Time Primer Shadow in Toasted Almond (iced coffee).  This primer is just a teesy tiny bit away from the Champagne Toast, another personal favorite of mine.  It is just a tad darker and is a fantastic all over eye color, as well as a primer.
  • Glamtastic eyeshadow (warm champagne luster)  This is a glowing champagne tint, but isn’t too sparkly
  • Glitz eyeshadow (smoky plum sparkle) a deep plum purple brown
  • Gorgeous blush (petunia pink) – a big POP of pink!
  • Luxe Radiance AOFC (apricot pink) – this is a bit too pink to be an AOFC for me but makes an excellent blush. If you mix this with Gorgeous you get a baby pink that makes you glow.

You also get a mascara, a Cheek & eye brush and a clutch.  Included are an eyeliner and pretty amazing as well.

 

The jury is still out on the Round the Clock Eyeliners for me - they are better than the B&B liners, which just slide off my face in a hot mess, but they aren’t as holy grail to me as Tarte  or Urban Decay.

I like the new Pretty Amazing lipgloss, which is a full color gloss as well; this is a pale shimmering pink.

 

All of this is wrapped up in a sparkly pink bag for you to take with you; this matches the gold theme of all the holiday kits this year, and is a great way to mix and match the 8.0 Readys or the TSV Ready Duo

Tis the Season for Friends & Family!

It seems that this is the season to stock up on your favorite beauty brands!  Right now, there are several sales going on, with several more coming up.

For Sephora VIBs, there is 20% off November 10-14th using code VIBDREAM (15% for BI’s).  Don’t forget to use Ebates to earn an additional 4% cash back!  I hauled recently at the Friends & Family sale, but there are a few things I might snag.  After all, you have to earn those VIB points to keep your status!

Sephora is also offering a Holiday Prep Kit gift with any $25 purchase (Beauty Insiders only).  You can choose from a Smoky Eye, Flawless Foundation, Beautiful Skin, or Fragrance Sampler!  It appears to be online only, which will probably prompt me to pick up my VIB sale items online instead of in store.

Benefit Cosmetics is having a 20% F&F Sale with the code LOVEYALL.  I’m happy to say that there are NO parabens in Benefit products!  I love the They’re Real mascara, and the Creaseless Cream shadows.  I will be picking up Watt’s Up as well!

Beauty.com is having a 20% sale until Friday.  Use this link to automatically get your discount at checkout.  I love Beauty.com because you earn Drugstore Dollars with every order!  Don’t forget to use Ebates to earn an additional 6% cash back!  There are a huge number of beauty products on Beauty.com.  I will be picking up some Bare Escentuals kits that are department store only I think, since those won’t get discounted for a long time.

Happy gifting!

Too naked, too naked for my face!

How do I love a soft, neutral eye?  Let me count the ways!  A soft brown eye has always been my go to day look, and I can’t tell you how many shadows and palettes I have that fall in to this category at my house, but I love them!

The Too Faced Naked Eye Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection has 9 shadows in all, with 3 large ( i mean LARGE!) pans of all over lid color.  They are a mix of matte and softly shimmering colors, and you also get 3 how to look cards to help you make your peepers perfect.  That said, I’ve been wanting to try Too Faced shadows for a while, and these palettes are WAY to adorable!  I had a Beauty.com coupon pop in to my mailbox, so I thought I’d take advantage and snap this baby up.

You get, in that cute little box that you can put on your vanity the following:
Three large pans of all over lid colors in: In the Buff, a matte ivory perfect for every day; Birthday Suit, a beige shimmer, and Pink Cheeks, a pale whisper pink.

To accent these base colors, you also get: Pillow Talk, a light taupe with a bit of sheen; Like a Virgin, a matte medium brown; Satin Sheets, a shimmering pink champagne; Unmentionables, a grey shimmer; Lap Dance, a silvery, grey, blue, interesting shiny number; and, Stiletto, a matte blacck that can double as a liner.

You also get a teesy brush in a little pull out drawer.

The kit retails for $36, and for 9 shadows, that makes it about $4 each.  Considering the three larger pans are significatnly more product than the rest that’s a really good deal.  If you get it at Sephora’s VIB sale coming up, you can do even better!  I really like the way these shadows lay down, and if you want a small collection for travelling or for your dresser top, this is perfect.

The shadows are very soft and blend nicely.  The darker shades are very well pigmented and stay on.  I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer, and my natural eye lasted all day.  My only disappointing is that upon reading the ingredients, they do indeed, like so many shadows – contain parabens.  Parabens are used as a preservative in cosmetics, and can be of particular concern to women because they can impact estrogen, which may increase your risk of breast cancer.  Now, mind you, I am not a doctor, and the studies are lacking some critical formation - like naturally occurring parabens in your body, and how MUCH paraben will impact you negatively, but if I can avoid them, I try to.  Since parabens are absorbed through the skin, and mimic estrogen, excessive paraben can really monkey up your system.

Parabens are found in breast cancer tissue; whether or not these are a side effect of the tumors or a cause of the tumors are unknown.  Bottom line, will I throw away my makeup that contains parabens?  No.  Will I try to educate myself better before buying additional products?  You bet.  I don’t think it’s possible to avoid them entirely, nor do I think it’s necessarily, but I do think there are other options out there, and I can chose to purchase products without an ingreident that is questionsable.

Bottom line, I love this kit and I’m glad I bought it!  If you are are a neutral holic, this one is for you!  Available at Beauty.com, Sephora, and Ulta as well as Too Faced directly.  Don’t forget your ebates (affiliate link)!